Dipsacus fullonum

This is one of two teasels that my Mum brought us from her own garden, self-seeded from a previous plant.

Dipsacus fullonum, teasel, sidelit by sun

Its candelabra branches topped with immature flower heads look stunning when backlit, or sidelit, by the sun.

I was aware that the teasel collects deep pools of water at the junction where the leaves meet the main stem, but only recently discovered that this mechanism enables the plant to capture more nitrogen, through the insects which meet their end in these drowning pools.

It looks so innocent for a carnivore.


10 thoughts on “Dipsacus fullonum

  1. Wonderful plant-we’re encouraging them on the farm (and garden!): very good for bumblebees and goldfinches. Also look attractive in all conditions.

    • They are wonderful. I love their architecture, and the wildlife appreciate them too. I’ve yet to see a goldfinch in our garden, but I’m keeping an eye out…

    • Rings of tiny flowers appear around the heads, in purple or white. The first purple flowers have opened on one of these, I’ll have to put up some more pictures, they’re very striking.

  2. How fascinating, I never knew that about teasels. Don’t have any in my own garden but there’s a big patch on the way to the allotment just starting to flower.

    • This is the first time we’ve had them in the garden. There are always one or two along the edge of a nearby lane that I admire as I pass in summer or autumn. They are even more stunning up close, lovely to watch.

  3. Dried Teasels are great for flower-arranging. My MIL has some that she has used for probably about 15 years in a row!
    They are very resilient plants and will grow practically anywhere – e.g. motorway verges, old building-sites etc.

    • Wow, that’s impressive. They are very resilient, in the Med we’ve frequently seen them in swathes through the parched summer landscape on uncultivated stony ground.

  4. Great plants although prolific self seeders – will be growing them at home in the future rather than the allotment 🙂

    • Oops. 🙂 Yes, I shall look out for errant seedlings and remove those we don’t want – at least the young rosettes are easy to identify and pull up.

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